Blogs in Media Education

Blogs in Media Education – By Adrian Miles (A blog about blogging!)

Blogs in Media Education is a blog about blogging, aimed at those who are wondering about how blogs may be relevant to their professional practice as a teacher, or as a classroom tool.

According to Adrian Miles, a blog is a wed based publication which traditionally consists of varying lengths of entries which are published online and classified as ‘pots’. As I have recently learnt in my first networked media tutorial, a blog has: a name; a blogroll (which is a list and links of other blogs or websites which the blogger uses); recent comments; recent posts; an about me section about the blogger; and numerous other assets which can be modified to suits the bloggers interests.

A blog is a way of developing informal and loquacious posts which can be shared with the public. These blogs can be interlinked and networked between blogs, allowing individuals to have a voice and express opinions to the public.
There are many reasons why individuals use blogs. One of the main reasons, is to educate individuals. In terms of how blogs are used in teaching, they can be used to document your practice, to encourage and support reflective and process based learning, to nurture peer supports and learning, to provide a record of achievement, in assisting idea creation, supporting collaboration, and finally in developing multiliteracies that allow participation within contemporary information ecologies as creators, rather than being limited to being passive consumers.
This reflects the use of our networked media blog which is a place to discuss, note, record, document, discuss, argue about, reflect upon, interrogate and critique what we learn through readings, classes and lectures.

As I have recently learnt, it is important to monitor what you post on your blog or others blogs because anything which is posted on the internet is there for life as a digital footprint is created.
The internet is a paradigm shift in communication technologies which has positive and negative aspects. It allows individuals to have a voice through their online portfolio and online identity. Individuals have the ability to create an online personality which they can shape and control through their blog posts or comments on others posts. They provide ample opportunities for individuals to participate and connect with others who are part of the online world, educating themselves within the information rich, interlinked and emergent network.

Chris Argyris – Biography and Theories

Chris was born in Newark, New Jersey on the 16th of July, 1923.
During the Second World War he joined the Signal Corps in the US Army eventually becoming a Second Lieutenant.
He went to University at Clark, graduating with a degree in Psychology in 1947 and went on to gain an Masters in Psychology and Economics from Kansas University and a Ph.D. in organisational behaviour from Cornell University in 1951.

Chris made a large contribution to the development of our appreciation of organisational learning, and, deepened our understanding of experiential learning. He developed models with Donald Schon, of the single-loop and double-loop learning, and how these models translate into contrasting models of organisational learning systems.

His work has influenced thinking about the relationships of people and organisational learning and action research.

His early work explored the impact of formal and organisational structures, control systems and management on individuals.

Chris Argyris’ research lead to him producing books entitled, Personality and Organisation and Integrating the Individual and the Organisation.
He shifted his focus to organisational change, then moved on to an inquiry into the role of the social scientist as both researcher and actor.
His fourth major area of research was undertaken with Donald Schon which was focused around individual and organisational learning.

In addition to writing and researching, Chris Argyris was an influential teacher.

Theories of action: Theory in use and espoused theory
Argyris and Schon suggest that two theories of action are involved.
A theory of action is first a theory: ‘its more general properties are properties that all theories share, and the most general criteria that apply to it – such as generality, centrality and simplicity – are criteria applied to all theories’.
The former can be described as theories-in-use. They govern actual behaviours and tend to be tacit structures. Their relation to action ‘is like the relation of grammar-in-use to speech; they contain assumptions about self, others and environment’.
The words we use to convey what we, do or what we would like others to think we do can then be called espoused theory. This is the theory of action to which he gives allegiance, and which upon request he communicates to others . The theory that actually governs his actions is this theory-in-use.

Single-loop and double-loop learning
Learning involves a detection and correction of error. Single-loop learning is when given or chosen goals, values, plans and rules are operationalized rather than questioned. It occurs when error detection and correction permits the organisation to carry on its present policies or achieve its present objectives.

Alternatively, double-loop learning is to question governing variables themselves and to subject them to critical scrutiny.

Conclusions of Agyris’ Study
It is assumed that ‘good’ learning ‘takes place in a climate of openness where political behaviour is minimised’.
We need to be distrustful of bipolar models like Model I and Model II. This is because they set up an ‘either-or’ orientation.
The notion of double-loop leaning helps us to approach some of the more taken-for-granted aspects of organisations and experiences.